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Sanis VC row: Court warns Govt. Advocate of penalty

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, JULY 4: In yet another case about village council row in Wokha District, the Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court on Monday warned the Nagaland Government Advocate that if she fails to file a counter-affidavit again, she would be made to pay Rs 20,000 to the petitioner(s).
An order issued by Justice Kakheto Sema stated that on April 11, the Government Advocate, Suponglemla Chang had submitted that she has received instruction from the Government and would be filing the affidavit-in-opposition in a weeks’ time.
“Thereafter again on June 9, 2022, the learned Government Advocate submitted that she had received instruction to file affidavit-in-opposition and will be filing the same in three weeks’ time. Today, when the matter is listed, Mr. ET Phom, learned Government Advocate, submits on behalf of Ms. Supong Chang, the learned Government Advocate, and seeks adjournment of the case to file the affidavit-in-opposition.
“According to the orders passed by this Court, it is clear that though the Government Advocate has received instructions, affidavit has not yet been filed. The learned Government Advocate is however given a last chance to file the affidavit-in-opposition on the instructions received from the Department. It is made clear that if no affidavit is forthcoming on the next date, the learned Government Advocate shall pay a cost of Rs. 20,000 to the petitioner”, the order read.
The Judge also made it clear that the Government/Department would be notified of the inaction of the Government Advocate. He listed the matter to be heard after three weeks.
According to Court records, the case pertains to a petition filed by residents of Sanis Village in Wokha District against a Government order issued on June 10, 2021.
“The case of the petitioners is that the respondent No. 3, the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Sanis, Wokha, by a letter dated March 9, 2021 had directed the Village Council of Sanis to submit list of Village Council Members from their village in accordance with the prevailing customary practices. The Head GB of Sanis Village convened a general public meeting on March 17, 2021 and it was resolved that the khel/clan would select their respective council members and submit the same to the Head GB on March 19, 2021.
“The petitioner Nos. 4 and 5 (Z Benathung E-rui and W Orensao Kithan) were selected from their respective clan/khel and their names were furnished to the Head GB on April 29, 2021. The names of the respective VCM were submitted to the Head GB on April 29, 2021 wherein, the names of the petitioner Nos. 4 and 5 were included. The list was submitted to the respondent No. 3 (ADC) to forward the same to the State Government for approval”, it stated.
However, when the Home Department issued its notification on June 10, 2021, the names of Benathung E-rui and Orensao Kithan were replaced by K Mhathung E-rui and Renben Kithan respectively in the selected list of approved candidates as village council members.
“Aggrieved by the impugned order and the action of the State Government, the petitioners are here challenging the validity of the order dated June 10, 2021 which is not in conformity with the Nagaland Village and Area Council Act, 1978 under the provision of Section 4. The petitioners have prayed that the impugned order be quashed and set aside and appoint the petitioner Nos. 4 and 5 as VCM and drop the names of respondent Nos. 4 and 5”, it stated.
(Page News Service)